Friday, October 28, 2011

Cat Upper Respiratory Symptoms and Treatment

Four of my housecats had symptoms of a cold which rapidly turned into an upper respiratory infection.  

Their symptoms were sneezing, water eyes and nasal drainage with no appetite and refusal to drink water.  The day before their cold like symptoms all cats drank a lot of water and slept more and they hid under the bed, sofa and in the closet. 

I responded to their symptoms quickly and  the first thing that I did was isolate them in one room and added an air purifier to the room to remove 99.9 percent of the airborne germs. 

I then called my veterinarian and they saw the cats immediately.  The  cats were treated with the antibiotic Doxycycline.

  1. Doxycycline was administered to the cats with syringe without needle.  Best way is to put the syringe in the side of the cats mouth and release the liquid slowly.  (Follow dosage instructions given by your veterinarian)
  2. Lysine powder: (follow dosage instructions by your veterinarian)  mix the lysine with can cat food once per day for 30 days.  Or buy the cat chewable tabs for cats. (The chewable tabs are easier to administer to the cats)
  3. Feed high quality food:  I am feeding all of the cats Blue Buffalo can spa select.  It has a good source of antioxidants that will boost cats immune system.
  4. To help the cat’s breath better run hot water into the tub and allowing the room to fill with steam.  Put your sick cat in the bathroom for 20 minutes.  The steam aids in opening up the nasal passages.  This of course is helpful because the cat can then smell his food.
  5. Wipe the cat’s nose with a cotton ball that is moistened with warm water, this will remove the excess nasal drainage and allow the cat to smell.
  6. To entice the cat to eat add three tablespoons of filtered water to a microwave safe plate or shallow bowl.  Then add one tablespoon of the canned cat food and heat for 10 seconds.  The warm food has a strong aroma and the cat can smell it and will then eat.
  7. If the cat refuses to eat use a feeding syringe without needle and fill it with the watered down canned food.  Feed the cat slowly from the side of their mouth.
  8. Keep cats hydrated. My cats refused to drink so my husband and I administered filtered water by way of a syringe.  We were up a few nights caring for them so that they would stay hydrated and nourished.
  9. To prevent the spreading of germs wear a ventilator mask, latex gloves and spray your clothing with Lysol disinfectant spray.
All cats were up to date with vaccines.  

What I learned is vaccines will help prevent many strains of viruses but they do not prevent all of them.  It is like a human getting a flu shot.
With antibiotic treatment and the administering of syringe hydration and nourishment all of the cats showed signs of improvement within three days and were completely healed within 10 days.

Cats hide when they are ill because it protects them from being attacked, this is nature.  When cats are sick it is a sign of weakness.  Cats will hide until they can hide no more.

I recommend Lysine for cats as this enzyme will help to prevent virus symptoms.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feline viral rhinotracheitis Symptoms

Cats that are not vaccinated for the prevention of feline viral rhinotracheitis are at risk every time they interact with cats outdoors, at the groomers or at kennel.  

If you cat is permitted to socialize with neighborhood cats they may become infected when they groom another cat or if they inhale the virus from a cat that is coughing.

Healthy adult cats that are infected with feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) that  receive medical care from their veterinarian usually do not have complications and will recover however mature cats age 8 or older, kittens and cats with a weakened immune system and cats with Feline Leukemia or AIDS could become seriously ill and some may die.  

You can prevent your cat from getting infected by getting your cat vaccinated and keeping up with the annual shots.  Keep all appointments for preventative wellness exams by your veterinarian. 

If you think your cat has been exposed then get a journal and document any symptoms that may indicate illness.  From the time a cat is exposed to the virus it takes five days for the cat to show symptom.  

The first symptoms of  feline viral rhinotracheitisare is similar to that of a cat cold; however as the virus progress the symptoms will get worse.  If you suspect that your cats is infected with this form of feline influenza then make an appointment with your veterinarian for a wellness check-up.  

Take your journal with you when you take your cat to their appointment.  The journal will help you to discuss your cat’s health with the veterinarian it will also allow you to make notes in regard to your cats diagnosis and treatments.

Watch for these Symptoms:
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Swollen and irritated eyes with excessive tearing; clear discharge that becomes thick and turns a greenish color as the virus gets worse.  (see image above) 
  • Nose membranes and sinuses will become inflamed (red and swollen) Your cat will develop a clear nasal drip.  As the virus gets worse the clear nasal drip will become thicker and turn the color of green.
  • Fever
  • Behavior changes, not using litter box, withdrawn 
  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Pain and signs of stiffness in joints

There is no cure for Feline viral rhinotracheitis, all you can do is provide your cat with comfort, keep your cat warm and treat the symptoms.  Your veterinarian may give you a prescription for antiviral medication. 

Administer the medication according to the directions given by your veterinarian, do not miss a dose and do not stop the medication unless your veterinarian tells you to stop.

To prevent your cat from getting infected with feline influenza you should get your cat vaccinated.

Another way to prevent your cat from becoming ill is to keep your cat indoors.  A cat that is permitted to go outdoors may easily come in contact with a cat that has an infections feline disease:  Feline leukemiafeline immunodeficiency virus and feline viral rhinotracheitis  .

Notes from Susan:

Even if your cat is not exposed to other cats, you must provide them with vaccines because they may come in contact with a infected cat when they go to groomers or to veterinarian for medical care.  Take steps to prevent your cat from becoming ill.

Image credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cat Annual Wellness Exam

An annual wellness exam will prevent your healthy cat from becoming seriously ill and if you cat has a health concern; feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus,  a wellness exam will allow your veterinarian to check your cat to make sure that they are stable with no new medical concerns.

Your veterinarian will perform the wellness exam by checking your cat's eyes, ears, mouth, weight, heart and the skin and coat will examined for fleas, ticks, mites, hair loss and lumps or bumps. 

The veterinarian will then check the cat’s entire body; he will look for pressure points, joints and will check for pain or stiffness.  Your veterinarian may call for further tests; urine or blood tests.

If your veterinarian suggests that your cat needs two checkup’s per year then do not miss your appointment. My cat Sam has feline immunodeficiency virus, cat-FIV so along with the wellness examination the veterinarian tested my cat's blood, urine and feces are checked.  These tests will inform the veterinarian of any changes to his disease.  

Sam recently had his wellness exam and there was no change from the previous year except he has put on weight.  Cats with feline immunodeficiency virus sleep or rest 90% of the day and are not mobile like healthy cats.  So going forward I will feed Sam a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.  I will also play with Sam several times each day with Da Bird feather teaser.  Sam loves this bird toy and I do not have to motivate him to play.

Notes from Sgolis:

The best way to prevent illness is watch your cat daily and to take them to veterinarian for annual wellness exam.  Get a journal and document any changes in your cats diet, drinking habits, weight gain or loss, excess thirst, behavior changes, cough, changes in litter box habits; constipation, soft stools, blood in feces, excessive marking or refusal to use litter box, and bad breath.  

Groom your cat weekly and run your hands over their entire body to check for lumps or bumps.  Contact your veterinarian concerning any changes.  Your veterinarian will advise you what to do and will schedule an appointment if need be. Take your cat journal with you so you can discuss your cat’s health and behavior changes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day Care for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Cat

 A friend of mine’s is without a home right now so I told her I would watch her cat so she did not have to worry.  I would provide day care for her feline immunodeficiency virus cat Missy.  Cats with this health condition have special needs. They cannot go outdoors and they need to live a life that is peaceful with no exposure to healthy cats unless they get along and do not fight.  A stressful situation could make the cat ill. 

My cat Sam has Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and he lives a stress free life with no interaction with other cats because he is aggressive.  I was not sure how Sam would react but soon found out that he was a welcoming host.

The cat is a female, not spayed and is just under a year old.  Sam has never had a cat guest as he has not been in the same room with another cat since April 2009.  I figure that they both have  Feline immunodeficiency virus so they will not make each other ill, however I supervised their time together so that neither of them felt stress. 

I put the visiting cat in a crate and set the crate  on top of a table.  Sam had no access to the cats crate and could not play paws with the visiting cat.  Sam was allowed to run around his room and play with his toys; however his favorite toys were of no interest to him.  Sam was smitten with the female kitten.  In fact Sam was in a trance, a love trance. Sam was neutered but I guess he was having fond memories of his tomcat days because the way he was acting reminding me of a cat that was courting.  Sam stared at the kitten in the crate for several hours, he wanted her to give him a sign any sign but instead she put her back to him and slept all afternoon. 

Sam did not care that the kitten was napping he was determined to get her attention so he sang to her for a few hours and then he brought her his toys.   He searched his room until he found his favorite ball, the pen he took from my desk and his feather toys.  He brought them one at a time and laid them at the base of the table that held the female kittens crate. 
When Sam refused to eat, drink or take his afternoon nap I realized that he was putting his heart and love for this kitten before his health so I removed the kitten in the crate from his room.  Sam stared out the glass door to view his beloved.  He was satisfied that that she was okay so he then ate and went into his crate for a nap. 

My friend picked her cat up later in the day and I let Sam out of his room to stretch his legs and to play with the family dog.  He ran around the room; looking behind the drapes, under the sofa, and he scratched at the closet door.  I am certain Sam was looking for her, the kitten that came into his life and tugged on his heart strings.  

Sam did not want to play with the the family dog, nor did he want to play with his favorite toys.  Sam left the living room and went back into his room and sat in his cat tree. 
Sam playing with Benny the family dog

I went into Sam's room and picked him up, he cuddled in my arms and began to purr.  I told him it was better to love than to not love and that the kitten was not meant for him.  He fell asleep in my arms and when he awoke he seemed to regain his energy and sense of hope.  He played with the dog happily and it was the perfect ending to the day.

Here is a cat video about that you may like.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wellness Check-up for FIV Cat

It is time for Sam’s annual wellness check-up and I am not sure if it is wise to subject him to the stress and anxiety of going to the veterinarian. 

Last year when he had his annual wellness exam he was overly anxious.  When I brought him home he went in his room to hide and that night he suffered a mild feline stroke .  So I am hesitant in making the appointment for his annual check-up.
Sam after his Feline Stroke

I think if it were a matter of Sam being weighed, getting his blood tested while I was in the room that he would be okay.  I am not certain if his stroke was due to the shots or if it was due to the trip to the veterinarians office.  Sam is older than we thought and he does not like change. 

Sam has gotten very comfortable since we rescued  and adopted him in 2009.  He had been abandoned.  His master left him in the woods by my home and he needed to fend and forage for himself.  His master did not neuter him so I suspect that he got into many fights with the tomcats and that is how he was infected with feline leukemia and  Feline immunodeficiency virus.

Siamese Cat: Sam Plays with Pit Bull
Currently Sam is healthy except for the fact that he is overweight.  He is happy and plays with his toys and with family dog.  He takes many cat naps during the day but when he awakes he plays hard.  

Sam will leap from the desk to get to the window seat, or climbs to the top of his cat tree to play with the bird that is attached to the upper cube. He will chase the dog or lie on the floor in front of the dog and instruct the dog to sit and stay.  Sam has fun each and every day.

I really do not want to upset Sam’s daily routine but at the same time I understand that he needs to get his annual wellness exam.  My husband suggested that I make the appointment for the blood test and the wellness exam and then refuse the shots.  I am not sure if that is an option.  But if it is then that would be agreeable. 

I think I will pick up some feliway products; the room diffuser and the behavior modification spray.  I always spray Sam’s carrier with feliway because it help ease his stress and anxiety.  

I want Sam to be comfortable and happy; the last thing that I want for him is to be afraid.  When Sam is anxious I worry because he has Feline immunodeficiency virus
Sam Helping me Fold Towels Image by Sgolis
On Monday I will make Sam’ appointment for his annual wellness checkup and I will pray that he will be okay.

Note:  Sam is a Feline Leukemia Survivor as his immune system was able to fight off the disease.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Caring for Cat After Tornado

If your cat has feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus Cat-FIV or another cat heath concern you must be responsible and take precautions to protect other cats after an environment disaster or Tornado.

My cat Sam has feline immunodeficiency virus  and during normal conditions he lives a happy life in my office.  He is away from the other cats and there is no threat of exposure.  Sam is a Siamese cat who is territorial.  

Generally he does not like other cats and thus I must control his stress level.  If he were to encounter another cat he would not be friendly and this would cause him anxiety and any stress could make a cat with a weakened immune system to become ill.   When a super cell tornado touched down in my city, Sam’s life changed from happy to chaotic.  

We had no warning of the second tornado but knew by the sky, wind and softball hail that we needed to take shelter.  I reacted to this imminent situation by grabbing Sam and putting him his cat crate.  I then put Sam and my two dogs in the bathroom, then we all hunkered down to ride out the tornado.   

Since I live in tornado alley I always make sure the cat crates are ready for their next usage.  I take safety steps by lining the crates with folded newspaper, then attach their food and water bowls to the side of the crate, or add clean ready plastic bowl for food or water.  Also set a crate size litter pan inside. 

All crates need cat identification so it is best to  attach to the top of the crate close to the handle a luggage tag.  This luggage tag is the cat's identification.  Fill it out with your contact information, the cat's name and any special needs and your veterinarians information.

It is helpful to have a spray container of feliway close by.  I like to spray the newspaper before I put a cat into the crate.  The feliway aids in comforting the cat and eases an anxious situation.  It is also helpful to have a twin size blanket to toss over the crate.
After Tornado
My home was left without power for 13 days, and the home sustained serious structural damage.  It also took on wind driven rain that poured down my exterior walls and filled the basement with standing water.  Within a few days the the  black mold started to grow.

My husband and I took safety measures by removing Sam from our home.  Sam went in his crate to our detached garage that is located 48 feet from our home.  We had no way of making the garage cool but we could open the windows and the garage door.  

My husband set up a tent next to the garage and at night we put Sam inside our tent.  Sam was very upset, he was vocal and pacing in his crate, so we let him loose in the tent to cuddle with us and he slept by our feet. 

 In the morning I sprayed the crate with Feliway and Sam back inside the cat crate. The feliway helped Sam to not be anxious.
Our home needed to be dried out and the mold treated.  On May 31st the insurance adjuster inspected our home.  

The following day workers arrived to remove the mold and to dry out the standing water in the basement.  They also set up dehumidifiers to take the moisture out of the home.  When the mold was removed we received a clearance to move  back inside our home.

Commercial dehumidifier

Sam my FIV-cat was anxious so I allowed him to have run of the rest of the house; I thought it was best that he be close to me and my husband.  To help Sam with his anxiety I added rescue remedy to his water.  It took a few days for Sam to adjust, the tornado was frightening for him and he would not leave my side.

If you reside in an area that is known for tornado's then it is best to keep your cat crates ready for easy usage and access.   Be prepared for the threat of a super cell tornado, and protect your healthy and special needs cats from harm.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sam's 2nd Anniversary Living with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Sam celebrated his Second Anniversary by spending a long afternoon with Benny Blue my pitbull puppy.  While this may seem very odd to you it is not odd at all to Sam and Benny.  They are quite fond of each other and will even sleep on the chair side by side. 

To start Sam's anniversary party  I invited Sam into the main house, he enjoys having free reign of the entire house without worrying about the other cats.  The first thing that Sam did was charge to the sun porch to sit on the ledge and look out at the birds that were busy eating from the feeder that hung from a branch on the tree.  

Sam did his kitty dance; two steps forward, two steps back, hesitate and pounce close to the glass and then he was content to talk to the birds by mimicking their chirping.  After the bird watching, Sam ran back inside and into to every room.  He was searching for something and while on his search he was talking rather loudly. When he finished his search he jumped up on my desk and rubbed his face on my cheek and then began to talk even louder.

I gave him some food and fresh water but that was not what Sam wanted.  So I decided to groom him because he always enjoys that.  

Sam was fussy and did not want to be groomed and I was getting worried because he seemed overly anxious and then we both heard steps coming from the kitchen and Sam lifted up his head and then leaped off my desk and ran as fast as he could to the kitchen.  Then I heard Sam cry out in excitement and I heard Benny bark and the two buddies were together again and Sam was as happy as he could be.  Sam chased Benny out of the kitchen and then they wrestled on the floor.  Sam got the upper paw and taught Benny to sit and stay until Sam said it was okay.

Sam and Benny played until it was nap time and then the puppy pit bull and the Siamese cat lay on the sofa and went to sleep.  It was the end of a perfect anniversary day.
I was blessed when Sam crossed my path two years ago.  He has given my family and I so much happiness.  I am so glad that I was able to rescue and save his life by boosting his immune system, had I not I know Sam would have died of Feline Leukemia, cold and alone in the woods.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Caring For Feline Leukemia Cat in Multiple Cat Home

Feline Leukemia Awareness Postage stamp

Caring for a Feline Leukemia cat in a multiple cat home is not an easy task however it is a task that is worth the effort.  Feline Leukemia is a virus called (FeLV) and infected cats spread the virus through saliva, nasal secretions, tears, urine and feces. Feline leukemia is contagious; therefore keep your cats indoors.

Many people will choose euthanasia when they learn that their cat has tested positive for feline leukemia.  They do not want to expose their other cats and they are afraid the FeLV cat will suffer.  

The decision is yours, however if your FeLV cat is in the early stages and do not have symptoms the cat may be able to eliminate the virus by the fourth stage.  Therefore if you want to give your cat a chance to eliminate the virus, then learn how to care for feline leukemia cat in a multiple cat home.

Have all of your cats tested for Feline Leukemia. The ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay) test is a way to determine if your cat has been exposed to the Feline Leukemia virus.  Your veterinarian will perform the test in their office. If the tests are negative then have your cats vaccinated.  

I needed to wait three months before I could have my cats vaccinated because they were exposed to my FeLV cat named Sam.  My veterinarian explained that it would take that long for the cats to show a positive so to be on the safe side I needed to separate my cats in my home. By separating the cats I was providing Sam with a stress free area where he could rest and heal and I was protecting my other cats from being infected.   

Set up Safe Room:
Survey your home to determine if you have a room with door for you feline leukemia cat.  You will need to set up a safe room for your cat that features toys, bedding, purchase new litter box, food and water bowls and a cat tree would provide hours of activity. 

A room with a window is ideal.  This room will need heat and air conditioning. A home office makes for a good safe room as it allows the cat to interact with people.  

A sun room that has heat and air would also be a good safe room for your cat. If you use a guest bedroom then remove some of the furniture, so there is room for your cat and their needs. Set up the separate living area for your FeLV cat that does not permit any access to your other cats.  

Choose the safe room wisely because this is where your FeLV cat will live while they have the virus or until your veterinarian gives you the okay to reunite the cats.

Use caution before you enter the safe room put your healthy cats in another room and shut the door.  This is a safety measure to protect healthy cats in the event the cat with FeLV gets out when you enter the room. Your cat may be infected with the virus but they still are playful and loving cats and want to run through the house.

Cat Diet 
Continue to feed your healthy cats their food and feed your FeLV cat a high protein food with antioxidants. Sam eats a high-protein diet that is similar to what a wild cat would eat. Blue Buffalo wilderness canned food is high in protein and has no grain fillers.  

The canned food will also aid in keeping cat hydrated. I mix half a can with two tablespoons of water or organic chicken broth and my cat Sam loves it. I also feed Sam hard crunchy kibble to remove the plaque from his teeth. You can also feed your cat a raw diet that is formulated for cats.

  • Wash the food, water bowls with antibacterial dish soap daily.  Provide cat with fresh clean water daily.  Clean litter boxes daily and wash the litter box with antibacterial soap once a week.
  • Remove your shoes before entering the room that houses your FeLV cat. This is a safety measure to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Administer heartworm pills and protect your cats from fleas, ticks, mites. Do this especially if the cat's plays with dogs. Keep your cat up to date with vaccines. Keep cat hydrated.
  • Allow the family dog to visit with the FeLV cat; that is if they get along. 
  • Feline Leukemia virus infects cats only.
  • Install a separate thermostat in your FeLV cat's room. Set the thermostat at 74. The room must have a comfortable temperature at all times. Your FeLV cat cannot be in a draft.
  • Watch for colds, runny eyes, swollen lymph nodes, and or cough. If your cat vomits or has diarrhea call your veterinarian.  If suspect any illness make an appointment for your cat to see your veterinarian.
  • Keep all veterinarian appointments. Your  cat needs to have routine blood tests twice a year. These tests will indicate the progression of the virus.
  • Spay or neuter all cats in the household

Learn More about Feline Leukemia 
Educate yourself by reading as much as you can about the virus feline leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus   This will help you to understand the treatment tips prescribed by your veterinarian and it will enable you to care for your cat.  

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions and I will respond.